back to article Power station fault cuts electricity, water and internet in Cairo

A massive power outage in Cairo has left the city sweltering in nearly 40˚C heat, without running water or internet services. A Reg reader, who is the chief tech officer at a global conference call provider, told us that the firm’s workers in the city have been without power for around four hours. “Our first concern is for …

  1. Longrod_von_Hugendong
    Angel

    'picked Egypt for its outsourced workers because of its highly skilled workforce'

    No to mention how little they cost...

    sounds like marketing BS to me. but I hope no one was hurt in the lack of power / water. That is genuinely nasty.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 'picked Egypt for its outsourced workers because of its highly skilled workforce'

      We actually pay our staff in Egypt based on their skills and knowledge. The back office support team that we have are actually paid the same rate as our UK Tech Support guys - we don't pay the local rate.

      The reason is that we are trying to improve the quality of life for our team. Three of them are in the process of moving from Egypt to other countries due to the problems in country. If they were not working for us they have said they would not be able to afford to move!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ' When we chose Cairo, we were aware of their power problems

      but we were stupid/ignorant enough to think they wouldn't get any worse.

      It's not like the country has just emerged from a bloody revolution, and is surrounded by nations still stuck in civil war all the while being placed in one of the most restless regions in the globe.

      or anything like that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Stop

        Re: ' When we chose Cairo, we were aware of their power problems

        My question to the reg reader....

        "A Reg reader, who is the chief tech officer at a global conference call provider..."

        So no onsite UPS with generator back up? I guess that's now in budget then?

        1. John Hughes

          Re: ' When we chose Cairo, we were aware of their power problems

          So no onsite UPS with generator back up? I guess that's now in budget then?

          Didn't bother to read the article, did you.

          The majority of our staff are working from home

      2. Perpetual Cyclist

        Re: ' When we chose Cairo, we were aware of their power problems

        Egypt has not emerged from bloody revolution, it has mostly stopped being reported in the main stream media.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-29029726

        What is less recognised, is that it is shortages of food and energy that triggered the bloody revolution, and they are getting worse.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Water

    human 'back office functions' without running water will get very smelly

    1. itzman

      Re: Water

      Back ORIFICE please.

  3. Perpetual Cyclist

    Egypt is well on the way to Mathusian collapse. Too many people, not enough food or energy, too many terrorists to sustain a tourist industry.

    1. itzman

      Sounds just like the UK then.

  4. BristolBachelor Gold badge

    UK too this winter

    Sounds like a prediction of this winter in the UK - except that the temperatures will be 4°C instead of 40°C. Anyone else remember going to the local elecy shop to get a timetable for when there'd be power in your zone of town, and lighting by candles?

    1. EddieD

      Re: UK too this winter

      Yep.

      My dad built a system using an old car battery and headlamp bulbs which he charged during the time we had power, me and my brother lugged a bike with a dynamo up to our room and took turns powering it so we could get changed for bed...

      Admittedly then it wasn't such a hardship, other than the lights - our family room had 2 power points, one for the TV, and one used by my mum for the ironing... Only 3 channels of TV, and they weren't on all the time, ISTR they shut down in the afternoon for a while, our radios ran on batteries - and our books were on paper. We made our own entertainment back then :)

      Nowadays it's a bit different - our whole lifestyle is geared around the electrons leaking out of the sockets in our rooms - my living room just for me has 6 double sockets, most of which have extenders plugged in.

      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: UK too this winter

        During "The Winter of Discontent", I used to do my homework by candle-light listening to Radio 2!

        It was one of the reasons I asked for my own radio as one of my next birthday presents, just so I could listen to Radio 1 or Radio Luxenbourg (I was too far away from the Thames Estuary to get Caroline).

        If the lights went out now, I'd probably reach for the guitar and pick away for a few hours. I have a battery powered practice amp, so could even use my electric.

        I think my kids would probably play "cards against humanity" or another card game for a while. They've also recently re-discovered board games.

        1. itzman

          Re: UK too this winter

          Ah Bored games. Aptly named..

    2. Perpetual Cyclist

      Re: UK too this winter

      There is a significant chance there will be power cuts in the UK this winter, the highest probability is when the demand is highest, which will be when the temperature is -4C or even -14C as it was a few years ago. I am going to rewire my central heating so that I can legally run it off an inverter when that happens.

      However, our supply and demand problems are (as yet) peanuts to what Egypt is facing. In the longer term, we are going to be facing cold , dark nights many many times.

      1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: UK too this winter

        Make your emergency plans now!

        Actually, it's fairly easy for me - small woodburner for heat and cooking if the power goes and knocks the cooker and boiler out, UPS and car battery starter charged up for lighting and minimal IT (charge phones, power router) - and having a selection of LED lights makes a big difference to power requirements compared to the old incandescent bulbs. Oh yes, and water from the stream to flush the loo if that conks out as well.

        A couple of cases of baked beans and an Uzi and I'll be ready for anything!

        (But my sympathy to residents of electrically heated flats in inner-city tower blocks. Not so good...)

    3. itzman

      Re: UK too this winter

      yep.

      I remember firing up the petrol then the diesel gennies too.

      We did discover that a 100BHP Cortina engine didn't like 100bhp for more than 7 hours before it blew its big ends.

    4. Someone Else Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: UK too this winter

      Sounds like a prediction of this winter in the UK - except that the temperatures will be 4°C instead of 40°C.

      Pardon me for being indelicate, but...wuss!

      We in the Midwest/Great Lakes region would be running around in shorts if the forecasts for the winter were to have temperatures only as low as 4°C!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: UK too this winter

        Been in Great Lakes, IL. -22c 20 MPH gust. 4c is nothing.

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Alien

      Re: Please note

      "A really big solar flare could take out power stations worldwide, and in many countries (including the UK) that would also cut off water supplies."

      We've had a number of big solar flares over the recent half century, and they've generally failed to cause the havoc that the doom-mongers predict. The power plants are well protected, and it is the grid that would get hit, and even that has plenty of interruptors and circuit breakers than have to deal with locally more powerful phenomena (eg lightning, short circuits) on a far more frequent basis.

      Some water facilities would be affected by loss of power, but as a rule UK water engineers have designed both water supply and sewerage systems to use gravity, with a combination of distributed storage and local power back ups keeping water supply going for long enough to overcome most credible interruptions.

      Collect your tin foil hat over there ------->

    2. itzman

      Re: Please note

      There's about 3-4 days in the reservoir tanks before it runs out, if you all take a group crap.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I for one welcome a bit of UK disruption

    Obviously excluding those who need electricity for medical reasons, people or even pets that may suffer or many other cases I am too stupid to think of right now.

    For the average over fed, entertained and planet disconnected generation to see the night sky free of a swath of light pollution, to hear voices over TV's or games boxes, to feel the earth hum free and spend time blindly clicking switches and frowning at kettles. To have the electronic armour of stimuli removed for a few minutes. I welcome that, because when it returns they will have more knowledge than before.

    1. itzman

      Re: I for one welcome a bit of UK disruption

      To have the electronic armour of stimuli removed for a few minutes..and then you die.

  7. itzman

    And that was only 4 hours.

    Imagine no water, electricity, no way to pump fuel into anything, no way to keep warm in the middle of a N European winter. 4 days and you are probably near death.

    The half life of a city without power is probably a week.

    And that's coming along nicely now. Thanks to insanity rules, OK? in the electricity politics of Europe.

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